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Reference: Lamontagne B and Elela SA (2004) Evaluation of the RNA determinants for bacterial and yeast RNase III binding and cleavage. J Biol Chem 279(3):2231-41

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Abstract

Bacterial double-stranded RNA-specific RNase III recognizes the A-form of an RNA helix with little sequence specificity. In contrast, baker yeast RNase III (Rnt1p) selectively recognizes NGNN tetraloops even when they are attached to a B-form DNA helix. To comprehend the general mechanism of RNase III substrate recognition, we mapped the Rnt1p binding signal and directly compared its substrate specificity to that of both Escherichia coli RNase III and fission yeast RNase III (PacI). Rnt1p bound but did not cleave long RNA duplexes without NGNN tetraloops, whereas RNase III indiscriminately cleaved all RNA duplexes. PacI cleaved RNA duplexes with some preferences for NGNN-capped RNA stems under physiological conditions. Hydroxyl radical footprints indicate that Rnt1p specifically interacts with the NGNN tetraloop and its surrounding nucleotides. In contrast, Rnt1p interaction with GAAA-capped hairpins was weak and largely unspecific. Certain duality of substrate recognition was exhibited by PacI but not by bacterial RNase III. E. coli RNase III recognized RNA duplexes longer than 11 bp with little specificity, and no specific features were required for cleavage. On the other hand, PacI cleaved long, but not short, RNA duplexes with little sequence specificity. PacI cleavage of RNA stems shorter than 27 bp was dependent on the presence of an UU-UC internal loop two nucleotides upstream of the cleavage site. These observations suggest that yeast RNase IIIs have two recognition mechanisms, one that uses specific structural features and another that recognizes general features of the A-form RNA helix.

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Journal Article
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Lamontagne B, Elela SA
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